Regular readers will know that about this time of year we do our annual review as Consul for Denmark and as a lawyer here in Spain. I think there is no adjective out there to describe how bad 2020 has been so i am going with ‘annus horribilis’ to steal a quote from Queen Elizabeth II.
Where do we start? Well we have had the double whammy so to speak of Covid-19 and brexit. At the time of writing a virus has been produced so we have the prospect of some kind of normality in the near future.
The good news irrespective of brexit and transition period UK citizens can still come to Spain for holidays and there is nothing to stop them from buying a property here in Spain. We act for people all over the world who buy property here in Spain.
The problem is actually spending time in your property here in Spain. If you’re happy with 90 days in a 180 day period then nothing changes. The issue is for people who want to live in Spain is if they want to spend more than 90 days in a 180 day period they will need to have residencia or residency.
If you were living in Spain prior to. 31.12.20 you have until March 2021 to make the application for residency, and the government have until June 2021 to respond .
You can of course move to spain after 31.12.21 but the income requirements will be more onerous.
It goes without saying the difficulty this year has been the Coronavirus and people have been prevented from moving to Spain due to lockdowns. There has been a cork placed the proverbial bottle and now it has been released and people are making their applications at the last minute.
There has also been a rush from UK citizens seeking to exchange their UK driving licence for a Spanish one.
However, at my office we are handling the applications without any issues and the Spanish authorities appear to be copping well. There has been of course a rush for health insurance quotes and we have been able to help clients we these matters. You will also note that once you are resident here in Spain, so in the second year you can join the Spanish public health care system and for some people this could be cheaper than paying for private insurance. This is called ‘Convenios Especial’ and myself and other lawyers and gestors can help with this.
The last issue is that of tax, anyone here in Spain for more than 183 days a year is tax resident and they will need to pay their Spanish taxes. We have a registered specialist tax advisor on my team and it is well worth taking advice re your tax exposure if you are thinking of moving to Spain.
Lastly living in Spain, if you are renting you will need permission to live in a property or a tenancy agreement for residency. I have seen some horrendously drafted documents which proport to be a tenancy agreement. Please make sure a lawyer has a look at these before you sign anything.
You can of course obtain residencia by owing a property and again choose your own independent lawyer for the purchase process.
I have 30 years of experience, but you can get a list of lawyers from the British Consulate. I would add that I am honoured to be on the list.
As with all my posts this isn’t legal advice. You can stay up to date by joining my group ‘Spanish Legal Questions by Marisa Moreno’
Well after all this I would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and I hope you have some kind of normality in these difficult times, and that the new year is huge improvement on 2020.
Marisa Moreno Lawyer and Consul for Denmark
Native English Speaking Lawyers